Byline: Rebecca Kleinman

It doesn’t take a hipster from, say, Manhattan’s so-happening meatpacking district to notice that Atlanta lacks a major, vibrant nightlife scene. Just getting a simple cocktail at times can be a chore. Eventually, many of you get to go home to cities where this isn’t as much of an issue. But in the meantime, here are a few tips for finding the fun after the sun goes down.
For cocktails:
Gecko Lounge in Virginia-Highland serves some 50 high-end tequilas, like Latis, Patron and Porfidio. The ambience is low key, and it can be experienced seven days a week.
Four Seasons in Midtown is a favorite among the city’s close-knit fashion set. Fancy drinks and appetizers are impeccable, as is the service. Even the mixed nuts have flair.
Virginia’s in Inman Park boasts one of Atlanta’s prettiest outdoor settings, with an overhanging lattice, mosaic tabletops, tons of colorful plants, a fountain and a tranquil pond housing koi. Its location within a newly renovated commercial loft development makes for an intriguing juxtaposition.
Bluepointe in Buckhead looks like the backdrop for a thousand Gucci ads. It’s all about flashing the cash here, but it’s worth a trip to watch the bar subtly turn different colors. Plus, it’s one of the only places in town to enjoy a sakatini.
Loca Luna tapas bar in Midtown doesn’t get going until 10 o’clock, when the crowd starts dancing to live Latin music. Expect a lot of whooping and clapping. The food is incredibly flavorful, while Spanish drinks like sangria and mojitos are some of the best to be found on Gringo soil.
Mumbo Jumbo downtown has evolved into an standby, but it’s still one of the best places to people-watch, sport your more fashion-forward gear and sip a kir royale with a twist of lemon. Live deejays add a cosmopolitan element absent from so many other restaurants here.
For dancing:
Karma downtown is as close as Atlanta gets to a New York club. Its charms — Moroccan decor, a recently opened VIP section, three levels and two velour-covered beds, one actually overlooking the dance floor — usually can satisfy even the most jaded of city slickers.
MJQ Concourse in Poncey-Highlands is the place to be Saturday nights, as the city’s best house deejays tag-team for five-hour sets. If Brit Pop or down-tempo is more your style, check out the adjacent cafe.
Riviera in midtown took over the former Club Anytime space, making it the only 24-hour alternative to Backstreet. The music selection varies nightly from live bands to house or trance deejays, while the parade of characters is always guaranteed.